**** DONE: 1/48 ICM Spitfire Mk IX AE-B Ian Keltie of 402 SQDN RCAF Commonwealth GB

Discussion in '#8 Commonwealth/Night fighter' started by Crimea_River, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #1 Crimea_River, Nov 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
    Username: Crimea River
    Name: Andy
    Category 1 Advanced
    Model: Spitfire Mk IX
    Scale: 1:48
    Manufacturer: ICM
    Aftermarket addons: Eduard seat belts, Eagle Decals, minor scratch built details

    The aircraft I will model is Spitfire Mk IX flown by Ian Keltie of 402 Sqdn RCAF. The following is an excerpt from the book "Spitfire II - The Canadians" Copyright Robert Bracken 1999 used with permission on another website.

    August 24, 1942 was a particularly hot day, as I recall. It was to be a hot day in more ways than one.

    We were escorting a bunch of American bombers in the daylight, coming back from deep in France. We were over, or near Boulogne, when we were bounced by fifty FW 190s. There were twelve of us. We got into a dogfight, and I was busy shooting at an FW 190, when there was a big bang in my Spitfire. I looked around, and I was under attack. The cockpit cover flew off, and at the same moment I felt something hit me in the leg, just like someone hit you with a hammer. I took violent evasive action, and climbed as hard and fast as possible to get rid of the FW 190 that was so close to me. I tried not to turn my head too much at that point, as I didn't want to lose the new sunglasses I was wearing. It seemed important at the time! When I was sure I was alone, I figured it was time for me to start going back to England, so I pushed the nose down. My leg just felt numb, so I was not in too much pain. I was halfway back across the Channel when I spotted two aircraft flying towards England. As I ran up closer, I found that they were two more FW 190s. This time I caught them by surprise. I opened fire on the second one trailing behind the first, and immediately saw black smoke coming from him as he went down. There was no way I could stick around to see what happened, as the number one FW 190 was starting to turn to get on my back, so I thought it wisest to just keep going.

    Meantime, I could hear my squadron mate Eric Bland saying on his radio that he was being shot at by FW 190s. He was right on the water near the English coast. But he evaded them, and we both landed at our base at Kenley at about the same time. He was badly hurt, and I felt for him. My flying boot was full of blood, so I was rather amazed that I was still able to stand. The 402 had an ambulance, one of three squadron vehicles supplied by the city of Winnipeg, which had adopted the squadron. The ambulance took us to the mess, and a little while later an RAF ambulance took us to an emergency hospital. It was in the wing of an insane asylum that was down the hill from Kenley airport, so we had to laugh about our new quarters. We were then transferred to the RAF Hospital at Cranwell, and I was back on operations a few weeks later.

    That day I was flying a Spit IX, coded AE-B, but I also flew several other spitfires. In June 1942 my usual aircraft was a Mark V, BM 230, coded AE-T, and named "Gerfalcon II" with a full, not clipped wing, as some were later on. From February to March 1943 I had a Spitfire Mark IX, coded AE-I in February, and AE-B in March, which was serial EN 398. Someone in the ground crew, I believe, painted a large Popeye cartoon figure on the nose, so it was quite distinctive. Later on I discovered that it became even more famous as the mount of Johnnie Johnson, when he led the Kenley Wing just after that, with his initials on it JE-J. Several of our Spitfires carried Disney cartoon characters on the nose, quite large, such as the one of Goofy. I recall there were others, but whether they had any significance for the pilots or ground crew, other than just being for fun, I don't know.

    From February to March 1943 I had a Spitfire Mark IX, coded AE-I in February, and AE-B in March, which was serial EN 398. Someone in the ground crew, I believe, painted a large Popeye cartoon figure on the nose, so it was quite distinctive. Later on I discovered that it became even more famous as the mount of Johnnie Johnson, when he led the Kenley Wing just after that, with his initials on it JE-J. Several of our Spitfires carried Disney cartoon characters on the nose, quite large, such as the one of Goofy. I recall there were others, but whether they had any significance for the pilots or ground crew, other than just being for fun, I don't know.

    On February 26,1943, while on a fighter-bomber operation, I was flying EN 398, AE-I, when I damaged another FW 190 at 35,000 feet over Le Touquet; France. I was following Squadron Leader Bud Malloy. Climbing into the sun, we saw three FW 190s above, seemingly doing aerobatics. One did a roll off the top, coming down as if to attack me head on. I turned towards him, and climbed. I got a short burst into the 190, and he rolled over on his back, and went into a steep dive. After this I fogged over, and was unable to see much other than bluish-white smoke emitting from the Focke-Wulf as he went into a steep spin.

    The next day, February 27, 1943, I was flying the same aircraft again, when we ran into more FW 190s over Dunkirk. Lorne Cameron in his aircraft (BS 152, AE-W) shot down an FW 190, and two other fellows in our squadron also had scores (Gimbel and Ford) .

    On March 1, 1943, EN 398 was recoded AE-B for some reason. During that month we had several scrambles to chase incoming unidentified enemy aircraft, but we either found no one, or the enemy aircraft returned early. On March 7, I was on a rodeo to Berck-Oraulines, and then on the 8th I was on a ramrod to St. Lo again in EN 398, AE-B, escorting sixty Flying Fortresses. I saw two FW 190s, but they were Intercepted by 403 Squadron. The activity was constant. The next day was a rodeo to Le Touquet, and again I saw an FW 190, but did not get close enough to engage. On March 13 I was on a circus to Amiens in EN 398 with seventy Fortresses.

    Just over a year later, I was flying as OC of A Flight in 442 Squadron, under Dal Russel. I flew Y2-I for the most part, recorded as serial MK 729 in my logbook, including D-day, June 6, 1944, and I do remember the mass of ships. Just prior to D- day, my logbook records that we destroyed a giant Wurzburg radar installation in strafing attacks, and that we also dive-bombed V-1 sites. On June 10,1944, I landed Y2-I for the first time in France, at B-3 airfield. On June 16, 1944, based at St. Croix sur Mer, I was bounced by an enemy fighter as I was taking off. I had a squirt, but did not detect any result.

    After that, I wanted something different to do, and I ended up flying Liberator four-engine B-24 aircraft in 168 Squadron, at Rockcliffe, Ontario. I also flew Mitchells and C-47s, quite a bit of a change from single-engine Spits, and I don't think you see some of the aircraft I flew in too many logbooks of fighter pilots!
     

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  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Man you're wide open on this build! Looking forward to it.
     
  3. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    nice choice Andy,couldn't be more different to the Uhu
     
  4. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Another good choice Andy

    Model Aircraft Monthly for July 2009 had a profile of this kite as well as the picture you posted plus photos and profile of AE-W (BS152) in the story above.

    Here's the profile for your interest.

    Cheers

    Peter
     

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  5. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Nice one Andy...reckon I've got that same magazine....?
     
  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Great choice Andy, nice looking bird that one.
     
  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #7 Crimea_River, Nov 2, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
    Thanks guys. Peter, thanks also for the profile. I'd love to hear any feed back on the colours suggested in the text on that one. I was thinking that the scheme seemed a little different based on the photo as the contrast between the green and gray on the upper surfaces is very distinct.
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice choice Andy. Not sure about the info in that profile. I think it's standard Dark Green, with Light Ocean Grey, not Medium Sea Grey, on the uppers, and normal MSG below. The upper grey seems too dark for MSG, and I don't know of any Spits wearing Dark Slate Grey in place of DG. I could be wrong though ......
     
  9. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    This is Paul Lucas's theory/obsession that some Mk IX Spitfires were painted in a high altitude scheme of MSG/DSG upper surfaces and Sky Grey under surfaces. He was taken to task over this in a letter from Wojtek Matusiak a few issues later.
     
  10. Night Fighter Nut

    Night Fighter Nut Well-Known Member

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    Very nice Andy. Interesting to find an American character on a Canadian plane. :)
     
  11. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Nice choice Andy! ...Considering doing an ICM Mk.VIII myself...
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks for the confirmation Antoni. Obviously another example of poor photo-interpretation skills and / or mis-information. I have never heard of any Spits in the ETO with a disruptive camouflage including MSG on the upper surfaces, and certainly not any of the 'Navy' colours!
    The upper surface grey, in its lighter shade, was relatively short-lived, and has been listed as Light Sea Grey, Medium Ocean Grey, and Light Ocean Grey, just to confuse matters ! Basically, it's in between MSG and Ocean Grey (which was Dark Sea Grey !), leaning more to the darker side, away from MSG, probably at a ratio of around 55/45, maybe 60/40.
     
  13. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Do you have the Popeye available in decal form?
    If not, is this something I can create for you in corel to print?
     
  14. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Everyone, thanks for the info on the scheme.

    Bill, thanks for the offer but Popeye is already on the after market Eaglecals sheet I'm using.
     

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  15. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Nice one Andy, were getting a good mix in the GB.
     
  16. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    There's a fair amount to report here as I launched into this kit on the weekend.

    First of all, to remove any doubt, I need to report that I made a small start on this kit some time ago when I assembled the Merlin engine while sipping a Marguerita on my patio. I only got as far as the engine assembly and I don't plan on using it in this build anyway as it's going into the spares box. Hopefully you'll all still accept this as a legitmate group build entry as the rest of the stuff you see that follows literally just started this past weekend.

    Let's start with the various parts on the sprue. One of ICM's shortcomings is that there's a fair amount of flash on their otherwise nicely detailed parts. The pic below, if studied closely, shows some flash around the edges of the cockpit and along the wing fairing which had to be removed on both fuselage halves. The right half was actually worse but I didn't get a pic before removing the flash.

    101106 Fuselage Flash.jpg

    This next pic shows some of the cockpit parts on the sprue. Note the cockpit floor at top center which will be modified to remove some of the floor pieces that shouldn't be there (later pics). The instrument bulkhead is nicely done but there aren't any raised details in the instruments, nor is there a decal. Good thing I saved the file for my home made instrument decals for the Spit I. At bottom right is the armour plate that goes behind the seat. This thing is way too thick so will be relegated to the bin but, first, it was a simple matter to use it as a template to cut a more realistic piece from card. See the next pic below.

    101106 Cockpit Parts on Sprue.jpg
    101106 New Armour Piece.jpg

    Once that piece was done, I pulled out the pin vice and drilled the lightening holes in the seat bracket which had been molded solid. Tamiya did this as well but I didn't bother drilling these out on my Spit I. It turned out to be pretty easy to do and was done in 5 minutes. These two pics show the progression of the cockpit assembly with the replacement armour plate, the floor section removed between the spar and the seat mount, the head armour plate added and the harness slot drilled out. It was also necessary to thin down the pedals a bit as these looked pretty clunky. The picture of the painted assembly shows a bit of work yet to do to fix the sink mark on the head rest and to paint it

    101107 Partial Cockpit Assembly.jpg
    101108 Partial Cockpit Assembly Painted.jpg

    The next two pics show the left and right fuselage halves with basic painting and parts added. The frame attached to the left half has had the larger lightening holes drilled out although this is difficult to see in this pic. I used various references here that indicated the parts behind the cockpit bulkhead appeared to be unpainted and decided to replicate this. The oxygen tank on the right half was scratch built with minimal fuss from a piece of sprue from my He-219 trees that had the exact shape I wanted, even down to the little nozzle on the one end! The landing gear selector had to be modified to place the lever on the "down" position. Wouldn't want the gear to collapse after the model is done.8)

    101108 Cockpit left.jpg
    101108 Cockpit right.jpg

    Finally, there's the seat. Hmm, yes the seat. This thing leaves a bit to be desired. First of all, the reason it's painted is because I had some of the mixed colour left in my airbrush and decided to paint any Spitfire seats I had in my stash that needed to be done. However, the more I look at this seat, the more I want to replace it or to modify it to more resemble the real thing. I almost resorted to buying a pair of resin ones and may yet do that but at 10 bucks a pair, I may just have a go at trying to scratch build something. The tricky part is the hollow in the bottom (see final pic), otherwise this could be fairly straight forward

    Kit Seat.jpg
    XIVseat.jpg

    So we're all caught up and that's it for now. Stay tuned for more in the coming days.
     
  17. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Nicely done Sir!:D
     
  18. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Marvelous work Andy
     
  19. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Good progress CR8)
     
  20. Night Fighter Nut

    Night Fighter Nut Well-Known Member

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    Looks really nice Andy. :)
     
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